Period Property with Pool Large Garden and Orchard
- 3 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Sleeps 6
Description from the owner
Originally a farm, or Catalan « mas » the property is situated in some two and a half acres of informal lawned gardens and fruit orchard, on gently sloping hills to the South of the old walled city of Céret. Beautifully positioned, the back of the property opens onto unspoilt and uninhabited countryside, whilst to the front, the town is a mere stone’s throw away – a few minutes walk.
A substantial, stone built family home with extensive grounds and a swimming pool.
The front door opens into an entrance hallway with a door leading through to the ground floor accommodation and a staircase up to the first floor.
On the...Read more
Period Property with Pool Large Garden and Orchard
Céret, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Additional Location Information
Céret: a fusion of history, culture and enjoyment!
Spring comes early to the Vallespir, France’s most southerly region which lays claim to clear blue skies and sunshine for some three hundred days a year. In Spring early morning January frosts yield bright days lit by a pale sun. The citrus-vanilla smell of mimosa fills the air, and the hillsides are splashed acid yellow by their blooms. The passage of time here is still marked by agricultural events; these flowers are the year’s first harvest.
Further inland the jagged silhouettes of the mountains are visible softened by snow, tinted rose and ochre at sunrise, and later gleaming ice white against an azure sky. Snow sports are possible as little as two hour’s drive from Ceret, where there is excellent skiing at Font-Romeu, Les Angles and Formigueres, all close enough for day trips.
In the villages, Mardi Gras is celebrated in February (or sometimes March), bringing a cheerful carnival spirit and brightening the spring days with colourful costumes and loud music.
March sees the valley floor turn white with cherry blossom, and fuzzy bees drone from flower to flower. Anxious farmers visit cherry orchards daily and café conversation is of the weather for the critical period between flower and fruit. Finally, May sees the crop brought home; the towns Fete de la Cerise celebrates the end of this harvest with traditional games, competitions, and market stalls selling huge black cherries.
Soon afterwards preparations begin for the Fete de la Musique, a celebration of all musical styles, with numerous free concerts in the town on Midsummer night.
Ceret’s largest festival of the year, the Feria, takes place in July. During the course of the weekend there is bullfighting in Ceret’s arena, reflecting the strong Spanish influence in the culture of the area. In the town itself, the running of the bulls, street bars, makeshift open-air restaurants, live music and discotheques entertain the thousands who flock to the town for the weekend-long party. If you are prepared to let your hair down and join in with this traditional Spanish style fiesta, you are guaranteed a memorable weekend, if a sleepless one. Please note that early or quiet nights are not an option!
In the heat of summer, towering plane trees shade the streets around the ancient walled fortress village. Cicadas sing as cooling mountain water gurgles through the cobbled streets in the old town. Tall narrow houses stand shoulder-to-shoulder and bright geraniums flower in front of peeling shutters. Below, the River Tech, spanned by its 14th century Devil’s Bridge, snakes languidly through orchards and vineyards. The superb light of early summer has attracted artists to the town for decades, most famously Picasso, whose work is exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art. Several artists work and exhibit in the town to this day, and the assortment of small galleries and exhibitions adds to the town’s slightly bohemian atmosphere.
Throughout the year, each Saturday the town’s lively market attracts locals and tourists alike from surrounding villages and countryside, to sample tasty Pyreneen honey, piquant stuffed olives, little hand made cheeses, saucisson… During the summer months street artists give theatrical and musical performances, entertaining those who rest with a drink on the café terraces with jazz, skiffle or folk music, juggling, acrobatics or mime.
On warm summer nights there are open-air discos, live bands, flamenco and sardana dancing and perhaps Catalan folk dancing or Spanish guitar. For those wishing to stay up later, the town offers two nightclubs for dancing and one late bar, all open until 5am.
To follow, a long lazy day relaxing at the beach is only a half-hour drive away. Or a litle further away, is the Costa Brava in Spain; pictured are the Roman and Greek ruins at Empuries.
Closer to Ceret and especially appealing to families with younger children, is the beautifully landscaped swimming lake at St-Jean-Pla-de-Corts, with its waterside bar and restaurant in summer, shady trees and grassy banks. Ceret also offers an open-air municipal swimming pool, including a heated paddling pool for young children, open throughout July and August. There are also municipal tennis courts, open all the year.
Autumn, with the abatement of the intense summer heat, is an ideal time for exploring. A short walk will take you out of the town into beautiful peaceful countryside. Wander through forests of oak and gather the much sought after cepe and chanterelle mushrooms, or pick chestnuts to roast, delicious eaten with vin nouveau.
Travel further afield and discover that the entire region is steeped in history. Possibilities for day trips abound; the historically rich cities of Perpignan, Carcassonne and Barcelona, amongst others, offer opportunities to soak up the regions heritage, and the mysterious Corbiere Mountains are the seat of the ancient Cathar chateaux, scenes of ancient sieges, battles and much bloodshed. Ramblers’ maps show beautiful walks of all lengths and levels through breathtaking countryside. The area provides a stunning biodiversity -habitats range from salt marsh to Alpine tundra; a nature watchers paradise. Mountain bike hire and guided mountain walks are both available from Ceret.
The flavours of winter are brought together in December’s Foire au Gras street market. Local producers come to sell potted duck, fois gras, charcuterie, cheeses, homemade patisserie, oils aromatised with herbs, nuts, and shellfish. The evocative smell of wood smoke drifts over the town as warming fires are lit in the shuttered houses. Threads of mist weave through the naked branches of the plane trees in the afternoon twilight, and the Christmas lights make soft white patterns of filigree snowflakes and stars over the boulevards, as darkness falls.
AvailableUnavailable Last updated: March 07, 2014 ◀▶
Rates shown in $ USD (Rental listed originally in GBP) (change)
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|Don't see rates for your trip?|
- Optional Towel Hire | $8 per stay | Per set of 1 hand and 1 bath sheet. Pool and personal towels are provided with no charge June through September.
- Damage deposit | $252
Additional notes from the owner
Reduced rates may be negotiable for stays of 4 weeks or longer, depending on the season. Please contact me for details.
During the Winter period, gas is charged at the metered rate.
- Linens Provided
- 24 Hour On Call Maintenance
- Towels Provided
- Central Heating
- Local Guides/Maps
- Wireless Internet
- High Speed Internet
- Internet Access
- Outdoor Pool
- Mountain Views
- Dish Washer
- Electric Grill
- Washing Machine
- DVD Player
- Standard Definition TV
- Satellite TV
- Board Games
- Outdoor Dining Area
- Beach Towels
- Pet friendly - ask
- Smoking allowed - no
- Suitable for children - yes
- Suitable for the elderly - yes
- Wheelchair accessible - no
- 120 square meters